Email on Acid: 6 Years Later
Wow, Email on Acid (EOA) is 6 years old. Time definitely flies when you are having fun! It’s hard to believe that six years ago my sister, Michelle (aka Miki), asked me two very interesting questions: “Why is it so difficult to get an HTML email to render correctly in every client and why is it that there is no service out there to help me understand why it looks the way it does?”
At that time there were companies that showed you how your email looked in an email client, but no one gave any explanation as to why it looked the way it did (curse you Outlook!). So we decided to answer those very questions and share our findings with the rest of the email development community.
Why Email on Acid?
Now that we had a purpose, we needed to have a name. Miki and I went back and forth trying to pick a name that was catchy, yet meaningful and matched our personalities. Showing people how their emails looked while also giving them insight into why it displayed the way it did was very similar to an acid test: putting something through tests to determine its properties or performance.
We were leaning towards Email in Acid until Miki asked how I felt about Email on Acid. Brilliant! A little edgy, unique and fun. It was perfect.
The early days
Email on Acid started very raw, as most startups do. We made the initial mistake of thinking we could simulate how an email would look directly in a browser without taking a screenshot. The reasoning was that this process would give us: 1. Faster results and 2. The ability to interact with the email. We learned pretty quick that this wouldn’t work, given the complexities of each email client and the daunting task of trying to get an IE based email client to render correctly in Firefox or Chrome.
However, it wasn’t a complete loss. Trying to simulate email client behavior forced us to learn the various quirks each email client has when rendering HTML emails. This gave us the ability to share our findings through our blogs, answer questions in our forum and provide tips and tricks. It also led us to develop our HTML email code-analysis tool that shows you what HTML/CSS is and is not supported in each email client.
Here and now
In the past 6 years, we’ve been fortunate enough to hire 22 amazing teammates who all work together to create and provide the most comprehensive HTML email design tools in the industry. Miki and I merely had the idea. Our colleagues have made EOA what is its today.
Along the way, we’ve been honored to work with some incredible individuals and companies. These are the people that use our services, provide comments on our blog, offer feedback in our forum and work with us as we continually try to simplify the process of creating HTML emails.
It’s been an incredible ride to this point and I’m excited about the future of EOA. We have spent quite a bit of time this past year strategically planning some ground breaking initiatives that I can’t wait to see fully developed.
A big thank you to everyone who is a part of the Email on Acid community—all of my colleagues, partners and friends. To you I raise my glass and offer a special toast for your continued support, enthusiasm and innovation. Here’s to the next 6 years!
Author: John Thies
John is the man behind the scenes who makes sure everything is running smoothly. He loves all things technology, from programming to tinkering with mobile devices to reading the latest issue of Wired magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @johnethies.